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Ieng Thirith ruled unfit to stand trial

Trial Chamber judges at the Khmer Rouge tribunal have ordered the release of former regime “first-lady” Ieng Thirith from detention due to her “likely irreversible” dementia.

The crimes against humanity and genocide suspect has had the proceedings in Case 002 against her stayed indefinitely and judges have imposed no judicial conditions on her release, public affairs officer Yuko Maeda told the Post.

“She will have to abide by rule 35 [no interference in the administration of justice] and the judges will continue to undertake enquiry into any medical developments that may help her conditions,” Maeda said.

A panel of court-appointed experts two weeks ago found 80-year-old Ieng Thirith suffered from moderate to severe dementia and was unfit to stand trial.

Despite contradictory medical findings from Ieng Thirith’s Cambodian treating doctor, judges today have found that “there is no prospect that the Accused can be tried in the foreseeable future”.

“Coercive conditions would in any case be difficult to enforce, given the Accused’s mental capacity,” judges said in a press release today.

Prosecutors, who had requested six conditions be placed on Ieng Thirith’s release have 24 hours to appeal today’s decision.

If no appeal is lodged, the former Khmer Rouge Minister for Social Affairs will be released tomorrow.

Judges stressed that the release is not a finding of guilt or innocence.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bridget Di Certo at



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